Serve Selection

Table Tennis Match Strategy

Last updated 3 years ago

Cynthia Ranii

Cynthia Ranii Asked 3 years ago


I'm a para wheelchair player and compete against able-bodied and wheelchair players. I find that during a match (especially after a game or two) I become confused about my serve selection: type of serve, location, speed. Do you have any strategies to make this aspect of the game easier for me to manage? I have a good variety of serves, but I don't do a good job of choosing what to serve when.  Sometimes I wish someone were telling me what to serve (like a catcher in baseball). Any thoughts?

Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 3 years ago

Hi Cynthia,

I think the first rule is find a serve and use it often.  However always have variation to keep them guessing.

Subtle variation is important.  It often isn't the big changes that win points but the subtle change of spin and speed and placement of the ball.

The next thing is trust your judgement and go with it.  You never know if any other choice you would have made was better or worse.

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Thoughts on this question

knarf ... from France

knarf ... from France Posted 3 years ago

Hello Cynthia,

I understand your confusion in serving. May I give you a suggestion, which is working rather well for me: I have two good services, and maybe 3 to 4 average. The idea is to use a different service for each serve. Never doing exactly the same one behind the other, otherwise your opponent could correct his/her returns. So if you have 6 different services, use them in a predetermined order. Then, you won't ask you questions about what type of service to use.

The other thing I do is: if I make a let, or miss a service, I never do the second service the same. Always use a different service.

Finally, if I am in trouble with the score (8 to 2 or 3 for eg.), then I use my two strong services to be sure to get the points for me. And in this case, I much concentrate to make them really as much efficient and difficult as possible, so that the return from your opponent comes back more or less where you expect it (or into the net or out of the table).

I hope it will help you.

All the best,

knarf, from France

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